2012-05-24 / Letters to the Editor

Celebrating Police Week in Jamestown

Recently, Jamestown Police Offi cer Ron Jacobson took a vacation and spent his time off in an unusual manner. Officer Jacobson rode his bicycle more than 300 miles from New Jersey to Washington, D.C., during what is known as Police Week. His intent when joining thousands of other police officers on bicycles was to raise awareness to the number of officers killed in the line of duty in the United States.

May 15 is Peace Officers Memorial Day. The holiday was created on Oct. 1, 1961, when Congress asked the president to designate May 15 to honor peace officers. John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law on Oct. 1, 1962. Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week pay tribute to the local, state and federal law enforcement officers who serve and protect us with courage and dedication. These observances also remind us of the ongoing need to be vigilant against all forms of crime, especially to acts of extreme violence and terrorism.

In the United States, a police officer is killed every 53 hours. We all hope and want to believe that it can never occur to one of our own. We are reminded that it can happen here as we saw in the recent death of Sgt. Max Dorley of the Providence Police Department who was killed on April 19 as he was responding to help other officers who had called for assistance. Two vehicles in front of him pulled to the side. However, a third vehicle attempted to make a left turn in front of him, causing him to swerve. His vehicle left the roadway and struck the pole head-on, causing the pole to break in half and fall on the patrol car. And Police Chief Michael Maloney of the Greenland (N.H.) Police Department who on April 12 was shot and killed while serving a drug-related search warrant with officers from the attorney general›s drug task force shortly after 6 p.m. A subject in the home opened fire with a rifle, killing Chief Maloney and wounding four other officers. The Greenland Police Department has only seven officers and serves a population of 3,500 residents.

These tragedies remind us that it can happen here and that not only are officers in urban areas at risk. I thank Officer Jacobson for his commitment to bring the attention of all of us to this important holiday.

Edward A. Mello Chief of police Jamestown

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